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Welcome to Philosophy at Durham

The Durham Philosophy Department is amongst the most prestigious departments in the UK. The Department is a hub for the wider Philosophy community at Durham, which is a lively, friendly group of people including undergraduates, postgraduates and staff, committed to the pursuit of philosophical knowledge and understanding. We are a pluralistic department that values and promotes a variety of approaches to philosophical reflection including research in analytic, Continental, African, Buddhist, and other philosophical traditions.

 

Find out more about our staff
World Top 50 Our Arts & Humanities subjects were ranked 33rd in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings by Subject 2023
29th
29th in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2024
7th
7th The Complete University Guide 2025
REF 2021 77% of our research graded world-leading or internationally excellent

Study with us

Durham University’s Department of Philosophy is a centre for world-class research and teaching in a wide range of fields. Discover all of our undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.

Undergraduate study

Find out more about our undergraduate opportunities.
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Postgraduate study

Find out more about our postgraduate opportunities.
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Meet our Students

Meet our students and find out more about why they chose to study Philosophy at Durham University and what career paths they pursue.

Meet all of our students
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Research

At Durham, we have a very different vision of the life of the philosopher. For us, philosophy is a joint enterprise, a subject that one makes progress in through conversation, collaboration, and community.

Discover Our Research
QS World University Rankings 2024

World-leading status affirmed in QS World University Rankings 2024

Durham is now ranked 78th in the world top 100 universities. We are also ranked joint 30th in a new category of Sustainability, and 50th in the Employer Reputation category.

Learn more about the QS World University Rankings

What's new?

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Professor Peter Vickers launches new book - Identifying Future-Proof Science

Professor Peter Vickers from our Philosophy Department launches a new book, Identifying Future-Proof Science, on 30 November 2022.
Future-proof science book

Durham research has a lasting global impact

We have launched a new Global Research Brochure where we shine a light on some of our incredible researchers who are making a difference in the world.
A globe with lines showing connections between different parts of the world.

Expecting the Unexpected: Philosophy in the search for the Extra-terrestrial

Dr Christopher Cowie, Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy recently took part in the Being Human Festival, a nationwide festival which engages a wide audience in the breadth of humanities research. He tells us how philosophers can contribute to questions about life in space.
Oumuamua
  • What does social justice mean and why does it matter?

    As part of World Day of Social Justice, Dr Simona Capisani, who works in our Philosophy department, explains how her research looks to address structural and historical injustices and inequalities in the context of climate and environmental change.
    International Society for Environmental Ethics Summer Meeting in H.J. Andrews Forest Research Station, Blue River Oregon)
  • How to prove you’ve discovered alien life – new research

    Professor Peter Vickers from our Department of Philosophy discusses the findings of his new research paper published in the journal of Astrobiology.
    Moon
  • Putting Santa (and anything else) on a Timeline

    Dr Emily Thomas, Department of Philosophy, writes on space and time in seventeenth to early twentieth century philosophy. She shows us how you can turn any history into a timeline - this one was inspired by a history of Santa Claus.
    Santa's outfits through time

How to prove you’ve discovered alien life – new research

Professor Peter Vickers from our Department of Philosophy discusses the findings of his new research paper published in the journal of Astrobiology.
Moon

Putting Santa (and anything else) on a Timeline

Dr Emily Thomas, Department of Philosophy, writes on space and time in seventeenth to early twentieth century philosophy. She shows us how you can turn any history into a timeline - this one was inspired by a history of Santa Claus.
Santa's outfits through time

Durham philosopher selected as BBC New Generation Thinker

Dr Jack Symes has been recognised as one of the UK’s most promising arts and humanities early career researchers.
Dr Jack Symes stood in front of a wall. The text reads BBC New Generation Thinker

Durham philosopher explores the mystery of existence with his second book

A researcher in our Philosophy department has released his second book, which aims to explore the mysteries behind how everything came to exist.
Dr Jack Symes pictured after releasing his second book

Updates from the Department

Find the latest blog articles and posts on social media

Highlights

What’s it like studying Philosophy?

Find out why Emily decided to study Philosophy at Durham and how an average week as a Philosophy student looks like.
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Choosing the right university, and why I chose Durham

Get to know Sophie and read why she chose to study at Durham University.
Sophie Clarke and friends

Get in touch

Find out more about our department, courses and support. Contact us by phone or email below.

Department of Philosophy

Durham University
50 Old Elvet
DH1 3HN
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)191 334 5325
Tel Undergraduate: +44 (0)191 334 6559
Tel Postgraduate: +44 (0)191 334 6553

 

 

Questions about studying here?

Check out our list of FAQs or submit an enquiry form.

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